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A Smell That *isn't* Musty - And Almost Knocked Me Out...


kweilo
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I've seen the topics about AC being musty / stuffy / generally nasty.

Well there was a smell coming through my vents earlier that nearly knocked me out - like smelling salts but heavier, maybe like ammonia?

It must've made me go a bit funny because I didn't actually think 'whoa there chap, stop and get this looked at' until I'd driven from Lancaster to Manchester.

Now I'm not an idiot on the roads, when I'd had fresh air and realised how strong the smell was, I almost kicked myself.

So, ammonia smells, folks... seems to be worse with the heating running hot.

I figured maybe coolant or something to start with, but coolant doesn't smell like smelling salts or ammonia...

Any thoughts?

52 plate IS200SE for the record!

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Not 100% sure but could be catalytic converter or something related to exhaust.

I had a strong rotten egg/ammonia smell in a works van a few years ago, coming through the vents, worse when heaters on. Made me throw up! It was the catalytic converter.

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Not 100% sure but could be catalytic converter or something related to exhaust.

I had a strong rotten egg/ammonia smell in a works van a few years ago, coming through the vents, worse when heaters on. Made me throw up! It was the catalytic converter.

Urgh - that'd be a real ballache!

It was absolutely fine this morning (well yesterday morning) from London - Lancaster. Then this silliness on the drive back down south. I'll see what it runs like in the morning - might be an RAC job - can't be driving around gassing myself to death!

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drive it hard for ten minutes. Then stop the car and let engine running and vents blowing. If strong smell is coming after 10 or so seconds after stopping, its catalytic converters. They are about to go or already gone.

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drive it hard for ten minutes. Then stop the car and let engine running and vents blowing. If strong smell is coming after 10 or so seconds after stopping, its catalytic converters. They are about to go or already gone.

Did exactly that today, during a trip across from Manchester to Sheffield.

Almost 100% certain it isn't that - had serious issues keeping the car free of mist - and I'm almost certain there was fluid being misted on to the windscreen at some point.

Air con looking like the major suspect at this point :/

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S***!!!

Driving on the M1, mist got silly and then ammonia-ish gas starts pouring out of the vents - must've been loaded with water vapour as I could *see* it.

Stuck at Woodall and waiting for the RAC now :(

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I still think its a catalytic converter you know :whistling:

Hope it is - bloody raining and I'm in a suit so can't check. Hopefully RAC will be able to have a look - I checked the exhaust earlier and it felt like it was pumping out at a normal rate etc.

Nigh on impossible to diagnose with basic tools in the dark - so it'll be a transport back to London and then a bit of guess work before giving up and going to a garage.

Bah and humbug!

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Heater matrix. I'd checked the carpets - completely dry.

RAC chap was utterly baffled as well - no pressure in the system and coolant was disappearing mighty quick.

He went right underneath the dash, pulled back the insulation and whatnot... and sure enough there was water a-plenty.

Can't drive it - losing water this quick and 165 miles to home isn't an option.

Options for heater matrix - any old garage or Lexus job... or a home-fix?

As for the ammonia smell, he was stumped - reckons there was an additive in the coolant at some point. I'm still baffled on that one.

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The ammonia smell is not uncommon it seems.

http://www.google.co...=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Major project for heater matrix normally as dash out job. Had it been summer you may have been able to bypass the heater matrix from the engine bay but this time of year you're going to need it.

Apparently a fairly easy job to replace after a bit of searching

http://www.lexusowne...showtopic=64252

One below if you want 2nd hand,new Lexus want around £450.00!!!!!!

http://www.ebay.co.u...7f1c6de5&_uhb=1

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Also tosavetaking the dash out, what I did was cut down the pipeson the matrix, then it slides out with the dash in place, and join the cut down pipes back to the engine with rubber hose instead. works perfectly.

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If I can get the part quickly enough, I think the cut-pipe-dashinplace option is the one - with 156k on the clock and motorway miles giving the paintwork a hammering, the re-sale value is gone already. Spending £700+ to get it done just isn't viable.

So... we shall see!

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I'm down in E17 - Walthamstow mate!

I did E17 - Lancaster for a site visit on Tuesday, then off to Manchester. Yesterday was Manchester - Sheffield - Barnsley and the home... which I got to around 1am on a truck!

Lexus Southend just gave me their quote - £920. Phoning around the local garages here at the moment to see what they think they can do it for.

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That's the same one as I posted the link up for you to see :lol:

At £35.00 for the lot, assuming it is not leaking it's a no brainer unless you want to buy a new one from Lexus.

Oh yeah. Sorry chap - serious case of the idiot going on there - I did one from home and the other on the laptop and it didn't click they might be the same!

I need my head screwing on properly. Might give 'em a call and get it - dash off and back on seems to be do-able in a day...

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